More data Stories
In Brief

Syapse, a startup trying to build something akin to Google’s Knowledge Graph for medical data, has raised a $10 million series B round of venture capital from Safeguard Scientific and existing investor Social+Capital Partnership. We covered Syapse when it launched in January 2013, promising to help doctors make sense of the myriad data sources and data points associated with medical tests, from how a sample was extracted to the method used for analyzing it.

In Brief

Two news stories from Wednesday — one about a startup trying to play data broker between user and website and another about a study into what people would charge for their personal data — offer more evidence that there’s an appetite for a market where consumers sell their data to advertisers and website. The idea isn’t new (we wrote about its traction back in 2012) and actually has merit because it puts money in consumers’ pockets and higher-quality data in advertisers’ databases. But monetizing the idea might be easier said than done: Enliken, one of the startups we covered in that 2012 piece, appears to have closed its doors.

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In Brief

Twitter has released an analysis of activity on the social network during the overtime shootout period in last week’s World Cup match between Brazil and Chile. The pattern, which Twitter claims has repeated itself through every overtime shootout, is pretty interesting: people tweet like crazy leading up to the kick, watch intently (and with hands off keyboards) as the player gets ready and finally kicks, and then tweet like crazy again after the kick scores or misses. Seeing this phenomenon visualized is a small window into the relationships between our eyes, fingers, televisions and computer screens during big events.

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CitizenMe

The app tells users what services like Facebook can figure out about their personality and intentions. In the future, it wants to encourage people to feed that data to advertisers for cash rewards. This is an attempt to improve rather than reinvent the current internet model. Read more »

Facebook’s study of how content manipulation can affect users’ moods has stirred up an ethical hornet’s nest, but there’s a bigger question beyond whether the study should have happened. Now that we know it’s possible, what’s to stop more ambitious attempts to manipulate consumers? Read more »

In Brief

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Wednesday approved a final settlement with fourteen companies that allegedly breached the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor treaty, which requires U.S. companies to adhere to the EU’s privacy laws in their storage of EU customer data. As a result of the settlements, the companies — including BitTorrent, DataMotion, Level 3 Communications, Apperian and others — must not misrepresent themselves if they say they are complying with government-sponsored privacy or data security programs or “any other self-regulatory or standard-setting organization.” The FTC filed its original complaint in January.

In Brief

Dell, Cloudera and Intel are working together on an appliance designed to speed the performance of Hadoop environments by moving a lot more data into a shared memory space. Key to the performance improvement is Apache Spark, the in-memory data-processing framework that’s now included in Cloudera’s Hadoop distribution. At this point, it seems like Hadoop vendors are going to sell their wares regardless where they run, so a deal like this really helps Dell make the case that hardware matters in big data environments. The companies claim it’s the first in a family of “Dell Engineered Systems for Cloudera Enterprise.”

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